Tis the season... for family dysfunction.

I love the holidays.  I love my family.  However...

Look I am just going to come right out and say it... I am freaking out about the ridiculous dysfunction that the holidays can bring out in my family and extended family, and how I will protect my son from it. My immediate family is small, just my sister her two boys, my brother his two boys and my mother.  Together we all get along fairly well, and for the most part are well behaved... well depending on how much wine and bourbon is consumed, things can get interesting.  It's the extended families of my immediate family thats got me all freaked out.

I love the holidays because it is a time that my family comes together to just hang out; Eat, drink, be merry and attempt to enjoy each others company. My extended family,  not so much.  Some of those people are just stupid, possibly inbred, alcoholic chain smoking, shower and toothbrush needing ding-a-lings. In years past, I would just drink a few extra drinks to numb my ears and fuzz up my eyes a bit to make them all seem like interesting attractive people.  Now I have a son that not only do I have no choice but to subject to the freaks, I can't get boozed up to drown them out.

The other major worry I have about these extended family gatherings is their offspring.  God for give me, but some of these kids have only seen toothbrushes in packaging at "The Wal-Mart."  Some of these kids have possibly only seen soap there as well. Ollie is a stay at home baby, his immunity is no where near strong enough to fight off what those kids are packing.  And speaking of packing, the total of boys between all the family members is 9!  Yes, NINE crazy ass wolf pack boys are going to be running around.  I see how the big kids play.  It's a wonder all of them have eyes and teeth and no broken bones.  Those kids play like wrestlers and warriors.  I don't want them around Ollie!  My nephews are scary enough, but I can still police them, and they respect Ollie. Who knows if the other kids will listen to me?  Maybe I am over reacting, but I am a new mom, that is what I do!

I am trying not to over think this too much, but I cannot help it.  I know how nuts these events can become.  I don't know how I am going to tell some of those people they cannot hold my child until they put their cigarette out and put down their beer.  You laugh, but I see them holding their kids in one arm, beer and cigarette in the other.  Look, I was all for beer and cigarettes before Ollie, so don't think I am being a Debbie downer on ciggy loving drinkers, because I am not, I miss being one of them sometimes. I just don't want my kid to smell like he has been hanging out in a bar.  RSV scares me!

Holiday dysfunction is probably inevitable, that's cool, I get that.  Hell, I probably add to it in my own jacked up way. But as a new mother lioness, it is my job to protect my son as much as possible from the foul mouthed, boozed up nicotine coated relatives.  I know I will have to get creative to not fully offend anyone, and seem like a total bitch.

I hope I am wrong about how dysfunctional it will be, but really, this is not my first rodeo... I know better than to think we will be arm and arm caroling by the fire. My plan is to appologetically run late to the extended family events, and then conveniently Ollie will need a nap not long after the meal finishes.  It's our first year as parents, I think it's best if we have our exit strategy already planned out, including having our car parked well down the street so we don't get blocked in. Tis the season. ; )

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Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com


Anonymous said...

This has been my strategy:

I walk in and announce that I need to apologize. I then tell everyone that I am still going through the typical new-mother-overprotective-paranoid-that-anything-and-everything-can-hurt-my-baby stage and that they will need to bear with me today. I go on to say that I'm sure that I'll relax in time, but if I ask that they not do something around my baby, please don't get offended... I'm just trying to prevent my crazy hormones from causing me to cry, scream, or have some other hysterical reaction.

Smile sweetly and rest assured that, this year, you'll be the "crazy relative" in your family. Embrace it! ;-)

Marianne said...

What's the use of even having holidays if someone doesn't leave crying?

Hope things go better than anticipated.

Unknown said...

LMFAO! I just sat down to read this after spending the morning rearranging my house to accommodate my own fair share of crazy relatives... and yeah- I have an Irish ceramic decorative plate that says "Our Family Tree Is Full of Nuts" - complete with the matching spoon that hangs on our wall- got it the day after own wedding. Hmmmph. As far as scary heathen children? ummmmmm- carry Ollie in the Baby Bjorn and hope for the best? haha... maybe not 25 lbs of baby... good luck lady!

Unknown said...

I loved that picture....it's so true....I don't know ...I mean at this point in my life I still think I'd prefer that than no holidays spent with ANY family member is better....we're so dysfunctional we can't be in the same room...it makes me even more depressed that the holidays are coming.

Hilary @ Peanut Butter Spoonfuls said...

We come back from every family holiday sick. Not sure what you can do about it when there is SO MUCH SNOT involved with kids. Hopefully he's at least immune to the dysfunction this year and you can worry about how to deal with that part later :)

Tasha said...

You may want to talk to your doctor about the smoking relatives. The doctors and nurses in the NICU offered to call anyone who smoked and would be in contact with Becca. At least you could get a bit more info to support your crazy. As this is our first christmas at home (last year Becca was in the NICU) we are having everyone come to us. Easier to control everyone and everything in your own home, including smoking outside and amount of alcohol being served. We are also telling everyone that christmas eve is the day they can feel free to come by, then at least it's only one day. And people probably have some plans already so may not be able to stay around long, or late, especially the ones with kids. As for the kids, maybe try to put together some treat bags with 'sit down' toys in them (like crayons and colouring books, depending on age? Washable markers and white t-shirts to design their own christmas shirt?) Just some thoughts. Hope things go well.

Unknown said...

Lol I like Anonymous' strategy!
I have a family full of munters too, drives me crazy! My plan this year is pretty similar to yours; arrive late, leave early (darn baby and his nap times, so rigid!) and claim baby is sick/tired/overtired/going-through-a-clingy-phase-and-doesn't-like-anybody-else as an excuse for keeping him close by. As for the smoking, you could always go for the oh so mature response of frantic coughing, clutching your throat and collapsing in faux death?? Subtle enough?
Hope it all goes okay for ya!

Alissa said...

I laughed so hard when I read this blog... not kidding you I've been going over and over in my mind how I will keep certain family member from holding James for some of those same reasons... I've devised the plan that I will keep a very tight leash on him and if they get close and try to pick him up he'll convienently need his diaper changed, or a nap right at that moment, or he needs a bottle and only I or Andy can feed it to him... oiy... We are hosting again this year so there really is no "escaping" but I have a few tricks up my sleeves. Looking forward to hearing about the aftermath :)

Gotta love the family crazies... they make gatherings interesting and stressful!!

Anonymous said...